Oil pulling can turn around your dental health! Here’s how

Oil pulling is an ancient Indian technique to maintain your dental hygiene. Read on to know everything about it.
Woman after oil pulling
Edible oils can be used for oil pulling. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 14 Apr 2024, 21:00 pm IST
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Be it removing bad odour, removing debris or even preventing gum disease, oil pulling is an ancient Indian technique that seems to have most answers to your dental health. It is known to prevent the formation of plaque and also preserve your gums. Oil pulling has also gained global popularity over the years, and Hollywood celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr, as well as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have endorsed the technique to maintain their pearly whites.

Oil pulling is more of a preventive procedure, and can help with bleeding gums and tooth decay. However, there are still mixed views on how effective oil pulling is when it comes to curing ailments. Health Shots got in touch with oral and dental surgeon Dr Arijit Sengupta, who tells us all about oil pulling benefits, the right way to do it and more.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling, as the name suggests, is swishing a generous amount of oil in the mouth for a specific duration of time. It works in a similar manner to rinsing but due to the high density of oil, it swipes away the interdental areas cleaning them and adds to the softness of gums helps maintain a clean gingival margin, says Dr Arijit Sengupta. A study published in International Journal of Health Sciences states that oil pulling can be equated to brushing your teeth and flossing to promote good oral health.

“This method resembles our modern-day mouthwash technique. This dates back to centuries where this was one of the oral care techniques used,” adds Dr Sengupta.

A woman getting teeth checked
Oil pulling helps with tooth delay and plaque formation. Image courtesy: Pexels

Which oils are best for oil pulling?

According to the British Dental Journal, coconut oil, sunflower oil and sesame seed oil are most commonly used for oil pulling. “Generally edible oils which have a higher density than water are used for this process. These oils need to be swished it in a vigorous manner,” explains Dr Sengupta. Additionally, you must rinse your mouth for five to about 20 minutes after oil pulling, to make sure all the oil is washed.

How to do oil pulling?

Oil pulling is done with 2-3 tablespoon of coconut oil, or any edible oil.

• Swirl the oil in the mouth vigorously for 10 to 15 minutes until its viscosity changes to a thin and whitish liquid.
• Rinse the mouth with lukewarm water until the oil is all-clear!

Health benefits of oil pulling

1. May improve oral hygiene

According to this study published in Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, oil pulling, when it is done in the right way, can actually help in improving oral hygiene. However, it adds that this technique can in no way replace your visit to the dentist.

2. May remove debris

Oil pulling can prevent the formation of plaque, as per a study published in European Journal of Dentistry. “Food particles in between the teeth and free margin of gums can be removed through this technique,” says Dr Sengupta.

3. May remove bad odour

Oil pulling helps keeps all bad odour at bay. “Coconut oil has a noticeable medicinal property which helps reduce the foul odour,” says Dr Sengupta.

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4. May help with gum health

According to a study in European Journal of Dentistry, oil pulling can reduce the change of gingivitis, which is an early form of gum disease. “Oil pulling helps reduce chances of gingival infection due to medicinal benefits of the natural oils,” says Dr Sengupta.

A woman at the dentist
Oil pulling cannot be a substitute for a dentist visit or other oral hygiene practices. Image courtesy: Pexels

Also Read: Here’s why oil pulling is the ultimate weapon for better immunity

Things to remember while practising oil pulling

• Always use edible oils
• Do not swallow the oil after swishing
• Rinse the mouth twice after oil pulling with lukewarm water
• Follow normal brushing routine for good oral hygiene

Can you stop brushing after oil pulling?

No, you cannot do that – at all! Oil pulling helps to prevent gum problems and tooth decay, but it cannot replace good old brushing and other oral hygiene practices. It is still important to brush and floss your teeth, twice a day. However, if you are using a mouthwash, then there might not be any point in oil pulling at all.



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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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